Even before CES 2009 began, Palm created quite a buzz by announcing that it would introduce its new operating system as well as the first device of the family. On opening day of the show, the company finally introduced Palm Web OS and the Palm Pre, and the crowd was wowed. Check out our hands-on gallery of the smartphone.
The Palm Pre is the first device running the new Palm Web operating system. The smartphone will be sold exclusively through Sprint and is expected to ship during the first half of 2009. Pricing information was not released.
Multitasking is a big highlight of the Palm Pre. One solution the smartphone offers is something called Deck of Cards, which basically lets you scroll though various panels to give you fast and easy access to applications.
The Pre's Web browser is Palm's own. You can pinch the touch screen like the iPhone and easily zoom in and out of pages. At GSMA 2009, Palm announced that it has joined Adobe's Open Screen Project and promised to bring Flash 10 Player to its Web OS devices by the end of the year. However, it probably won't be available on the Pre at launch since Sprint and Palm expect to ship the smartphone in the first half of 2009.
To access the full QWERTY keyboard, you just push the screen up. In its opened state, you can see the Pre's curved shape. This was noted as one of the reasons an expansion slot was not included on the Pre.
The Palm Touchstone is a wireless charger for the Palm Pre. Just place the smartphone atop the accessory, and it will juice up your device without any meddling wires. If you receive a call while the Pre is on the Touchstone, it will automatically activate the speakerphone if you choose to take the call.